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EMS Gives Life | Help EMT Dave Find His Wife Kelly a Kidney

Help Firefighter EMT Dave Find his wife Kelly a Kidney

Help Firefighter EMT Dave Raymond find a Kidney for his wife Kelly

Dave Raymond is asking you to help him save the life of his wife, Kelly! Kelly needs a kidney transplant to live. Both Dave and their son, Christopher, are firefighter EMTs. They are committed to saving people’s lives every day. The hardest thing in the world is not being able to save Kelly on their own.  Now Dave is turning to the community and his fire service/EMS family to ask for help.

A Message from Dave Raymond

My name is Dave Raymond and my lovely wife is Kelly. I’m a Lieutenant on the Hamilton (MA) Fire Department and an EMT/ESO Manager for Cataldo Ambulance. Kelly and I have been married for 27 years and are proud parents of a son, Christopher, who is also a firefighter EMT for Hamilton Fire. Our family has a strong history of community involvement and a dedication to helping others. We are blessed with a great family and friends who are of tremendous support. Like all families, we have had obstacles to overcome and we’ve always figured it out. When Kelly’s kidneys started to fail and she was placed on the transplant waiting list in 2020, I really thought I would be her donor and everything would be okay. I have since learned that I’m not medically eligible to be a kidney donor. I never thought I would be asking for this type of help from friends, acquaintances, and even strangers, but here I am, asking for someone to be a kidney donor for my wife, Kelly. I need help to save her!

Kelly’s Medical History of Diabetes and Kidney Disease

Kelly has struggled with medical issues all her life. She has Type 1 (Juvenile) Diabetes which created many health complications. But one by one, Kelly has overcome and moved on, keeping an incredibly optimistic outlook. In 2013 she lost her leg to diabetes but has adapted very well. In 2020 her kidneys started shutting down rapidly and it was determined that she would need a kidney transplant to live. In the meantime, Kelly is doing dialysis 7 days a week to keep going. It is difficult, but we are grateful that dialysis buys her some time while we search for a donor. Many people have stepped up for Kelly and all but one has been found medically ineligible to donate. Unfortunatley the one approved donor had a major family crisis that put kidney donation on hold indefinitely. We are continuing to fight for Kelly and we know that someone will see our story and volunteer to help. When you and your family are used to helping others, it is the hardest thing to do to ask for help – but I’m asking.

“I want my mom to feel better and live without constant sickness.”

– Christopher Raymond, son, Firefighter EMT

Becoming a Kidney Donor for Kelly

This is the most important thing to know – you do not need to be a match to be a kidney donor for Kelly! If you are healthy enough to be a kidney donor, you can donate on Kelly’s behalf. Through the National Kidney Registry’s standard voucher program, you can donate a kidney to someone who is the best match to you. And because of your donation, you can give Kelly a voucher that will take her from the 100,000-person national waiting list to a National Kidney Registry living donor list. They will find her a match typically in months, instead of years. But she is only eligible for the living donor list if someone donates a kidney on her behalf. That’s why we need you.

Important Information for Potential Donors

  • Kelly is a patient at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston which is a National Kidney Registry (NKR) member center.
  • You do not need to be a match to be a kidney donor for Kelly. If you are healthy and eligible to donate a kidney, your donation can provide Kelly with a voucher that prioritizes her for a kidney donation that is her best match.
  • You do not need to come to Boston to donate a kidney on Kelly’s behalf. You can be evaluated and donate through any of the National Kidney Registry’s 100 member centers nationwide.
  • One healthy kidney can do the work of two and donors can live a full, healthy life with only one kidney. Kidney transplant surgery is very safe with a short hospital stay and fairly quick recovery times.
  • There is no financial burden for donors. Kelly’s insurance pays for all medical testing, evaluation, and surgery. NKR’s Donor Shield program provides reimbursement for lost wages, travel, and lodging.
  • There are supports and protections available for living donors as well as mentoring by someone who has been a living kidney donor. In the unlikely event that a kidney donor needs a kidney transplant in the future, they will be prioritized on the living donor list.
  • EMS Gives Life will provide support to potential donors, from considering donation through the donation process.
  • There is no commitment to learn more.
  • All inquiries are held in complete confidence by EMS Gives Life.

Would you consider being Kelly’s kidney donor?

Good news…

You don’t need to be an exact match to be a donor for Kelly!

If you’re healthy enough to donate a kidney, you can be a donor on Kelly’s behalf!

  • You can do testing, evaluation, and surgery at a hospital close to home and on your schedule.
  • You will get cost reimbursement for lost wages, travel, and lodging.
  • You will be prioritized for a kidney donation in the unlikely event that you need a kidney transplant in the future.
  • You can receive mentoring from a living kidney donor.

The National Kidney Registry’s Donor Shield and the National Kidney Donation Organization provide resources and supports to living kidney donors. And EMS Gives Life will be with you, every step of the way!

Sign Up to be a Kidney Donor for Kelly

Take the first step to start the screening process and request a mentor.  There is no commitment to exploring the idea of being a kidney donor.

Click here

Learn More about Kidney Donation

Click here to learn more about living kidney donation, donor resources, and best practice approaches to donating your kidney to a specific recipient.

National EMS Memorial Bike Ride Registration is OPEN!

The National EMS Memorial Bike Ride is currently accepting registrations for the East Coast, Southern, Midwest, and Weekend of Honor Events.

To learn more about each one of these events, check out the details below.  Looking to register?  Click on the registration buttons located under each of the route headings.

 

Weekend of Honor – July 22nd Crystal City, VA

This single-day event kicks off the Weekend of Honor in coordination with the National EMS Memorial Service. Registration is only $20.

Click Here to Learn More and Register »

MidWest Route – June 20th – June 25th

Experience the beauty of the Midwest from St. Paul, MN. to Chicago, IL over the course of this six-day event.

Click Here to Learn More and Register »

Southern Route – May 22nd – May 28th

This seven-day route begins in Fayetteville, NC, with a final destination of Williamsburg, VA.

Click Here to Learn More and Register »

East Coast – May 21st – May 27th

The original route of The National EMS Memorial Bike Ride will travel from Boston, MA to Baltimore, MD.

Click Here to Learn More and Register »

Colorado Route – September 11th – September 16th

Are you up for a climb?  Don’t worry, half of the route is all downhill.  With a start in Snowmass, CO to Littleton, CO you can take in the best sights of the Rocky Mountains.

Registration Coming Soon…..

West Coast – September 19th – September 24th

From Reno, NV to San Francisco, CA this route has it all, The views, the weather, and the wine of the Napa Valley, don’t miss this season-ending route.

Registration Coming Soon…..

Covid-19 Mitigation
The National EMS Memorial Bike Ride remains committed to providing a safe cycling and support environment for all participants, spectators, and hosts.  During all 2022 events, the CDC Covid-19 guidelines in effect at the time and location of the individual event will be followed by all participants.  You can view these requirements at the CDC Covid-19 Community Levels website by clicking here.
 

The National EMS Memorial Bike Ride, Inc. honors Emergency Medical Services personnel by organizing and implementing long-distance cycling events that memorialize and celebrate the lives of those who serve every day, those who have become sick or injured while performing their duties, and those who have died in the line of duty.

You can learn more about the 2022 National EMS Memorial Service and obtain the hotel reservation list by clicking here

National EMS Memorial Bike Ride Registration is OPEN!

The National EMS Memorial Bike Ride is currently accepting registrations for the East Coast, Southern, Midwest, and Weekend of Honor Events.

To learn more about each one of these events, check out the details below.  Looking to register?  Click on the registration buttons located under each of the route headings.

 

Weekend of Honor – July 22nd Crystal City, VA

This single-day event kicks off the Weekend of Honor in coordination with the National EMS Memorial Service. Registration is only $20.

Click Here to Learn More and Register »

MidWest Route – June 20th – June 25th

Experience the beauty of the Midwest from St. Paul, MN. to Chicago, IL over the course of this six-day event.

Click Here to Learn More and Register »

Southern Route – May 22nd – May 28th

This seven-day route begins in Fayetteville, NC, with a final destination of Williamsburg, VA.

Click Here to Learn More and Register »

East Coast – May 21st – May 27th

The original route of The National EMS Memorial Bike Ride will travel from Boston, MA to Baltimore, MD.

Click Here to Learn More and Register »

Colorado Route – September 11th – September 16th

Are you up for a climb?  Don’t worry, half of the route is all downhill.  With a start in Snowmass, CO to Littleton, CO you can take in the best sights of the Rocky Mountains.

Registration Coming Soon…..

West Coast – September 19th – September 24th

From Reno, NV to San Francisco, CA this route has it all, The views, the weather, and the wine of the Napa Valley, don’t miss this season-ending route.

Registration Coming Soon…..

Covid-19 Mitigation
The National EMS Memorial Bike Ride remains committed to providing a safe cycling and support environment for all participants, spectators, and hosts.  During all 2022 events, the CDC Covid-19 guidelines in effect at the time and location of the individual event will be followed by all participants.  You can view these requirements at the CDC Covid-19 Community Levels website by clicking here.
 

The National EMS Memorial Bike Ride, Inc. honors Emergency Medical Services personnel by organizing and implementing long-distance cycling events that memorialize and celebrate the lives of those who serve every day, those who have become sick or injured while performing their duties, and those who have died in the line of duty.

You can learn more about the 2022 National EMS Memorial Service and obtain the hotel reservation list by clicking here

Ukraine Relief | OSF Healthcare System

OSF Healthcare System of Peoria, Illinois, is working to organize donations of medical supplies and retired ambulances for Ukraine. Most recently, they were able to send 350 pallets of cargo in addition to an ambulance to assist.

If your organization would like to participate, please reach out to Christopher Manson, Vice President of Government Relations, at Christopher.M.Manson@osfhealthcare.org.

Our thoughts are with all those impacted by this tragic conflict.

 

Ukraine Relief | OSF Healthcare System

OSF Healthcare System of Peoria, Illinois, is working to organize donations of medical supplies and retired ambulances for Ukraine. Most recently, they were able to send 350 pallets of cargo in addition to an ambulance to assist.

If your organization would like to participate, please reach out to Christopher Manson, Vice President of Government Relations, at Christopher.M.Manson@osfhealthcare.org.

Our thoughts are with all those impacted by this tragic conflict.

 

Brave of Heart Scholarship

The Brave of Heart Fund was founded in May 2020 by the Foundations of Cigna and New York Life and administered by E4E Relief. It was established to provide charitable grants and emotional support services to families of frontline healthcare workers, volunteers, and support staff whose lives were lost in the fight against COVID-19.

Now, the Brave of Heart Fund continues to honor the hard work and sacrifice of healthcare workers and their families via scholarship funding for their spouses, domestic partners, and children.

Applications are now being accepted online.

Up to $25,000.00 annually is available in scholarship funding, depending on an eligible applicant’s academic focus, student status, and other criteria.

Eligible Applicants

  • Must be a spouse, domestic partner, or child of a healthcare worker, volunteer, or support staff whose life was lost in the fight against COVID-19.
  • Must plan to enroll in accredited studies at the undergraduate or graduate levels, in community college, or in vocational and technical schools.
  • May be non-traditional students and individuals enrolled in part-time coursework.
  • Do not have to be previous recipients of Brave of Heart Fund grants; recipients of previous grant funding are also still eligible.

Application Deadline

For Fall 2022 semester scholarships:
April 20, 2022

3:00PM Central Standard Time

HRSA eNews | Expanding Health Care Access and Resources in Underserved Populations,

HRSA eNews March 3, 2022

March 3, 2022

Administrator Carole Johnson on HRSA’s Commitment to President Biden’s National Mental Health Strategy

douglas-emhoff-carole-johnson-nationwide-childrens-hospitalIn his State of the Union address, President Biden announced an ambitious strategy to address our national mental health crisis. At the Health Resources and Services Administration, we stand with the President in his call for unity in our national response and know that for the millions of Americans living with a mental health condition or caring for a loved one with a mental health condition, the time for action is now.

Yesterday, Administrator Johnson and HRSA Chief of Staff Jordan Grossman joined the Second Gentleman Mr. Emhoff and Assistant Secretary for Health Admiral Levine in Columbus, Ohio, to visit HRSA grantees addressing youth mental health care needs and providing mental health supports for the health care workforce.

Read Administrator Johnson’s full statement on the President’s National Mental Health Strategy.


HRSA Works to Expand Health Care Access and Resources in Underserved Populations

physicianIn February, HRSA announced the winners of the Promoting Pediatric Primary Prevention Challenge, $66.5 million to support community-based vaccine outreach efforts, more than $560 million in pandemic relief payments to health care providers, funding to increase virtual care quality and access, and new funding to support primary care residency programs.

Read our announcements.


HHS Distributing $560 Million in Provider Relief Fund Payments to Health Care Providers Affected by the COVID-19 Pandemic

Clipart of health professionalsWith this funding, nearly $19 billion will have been distributed from the Provider Relief Fund and the American Rescue Plan Rural provider funding since November 2021 

February 24 – The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), through the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), is making more than $560 million in Provider Relief Fund (PRF) Phase 4 General Distribution payments to more than 4,100 providers across the country this week.

“Provider Relief Funds have been living up to its name, providing much-needed relief to our nation’s health care providers,” said Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra. “From expanding life-saving services to tackling workforce challenges, these funds will continue to help weather the pandemic’s continued impact. The Biden-Harris Administration remain committed to ensuring our providers with the necessary support and tools to keep our families safer and healthier.”

Read the press release.


National Health Service Corps: 50 Years of Commitment, Compassion and Community

nhsc anniversary social media cardOur National Health Service Corps (NHSC) is gearing up to celebrate its 50th anniversary, and you’re invited to join in. Established with the Emergency Health Personnel Act of 1970, the NHSC placed its first clinicians – which included physicians, dentists and nurses – in 20 communities in 13 states. Learn how you can engage with, promote, and celebrate this historic milestone with our largest class of participants yet!


New Report on Children’s Mental Health Features Key Data from National Survey of Children’s Health

children lined upnew report featuring data from HRSA’s 2016-2019 National Survey of Children’s Health, shows that children’s mental health was a substantial public health concern even before the COVID-19 pandemic started.

This report is an update to one first published in 2013 in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. The 2013 report was the first ever cross-agency children’s mental health surveillance report, and includes input from HRSA, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration and the National Institute of Mental Health. HRSA’s Reem Ghandour and Jesse Lichstein are co-authors.

The current report found that attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder and anxiety among children of all ages, and symptoms related to depression among adolescents, are the most common concerns. It also features data on behavioral problems, autism, Tourette syndrome, as well as treatment received and signs that children are doing well. The report concludes that we need further research on positive indicators of mental health such as emotional well-being and resilience to provide the fullest picture of children’s mental health.


Climate Change and Health: The Risks to Community Health and Health Care Utilization

climate change Climate change influences human health and diseases in numerous ways. Underserved communities stand to bear the brunt of these climate-induced risks (e.g., extreme heat, poor air quality, flooding, extreme weather events). HRSA and CDC’s Climate and Health Program invite you to consider the impacts of climate change on the U.S. health care system. CDC will share its work to build resilience to these public health effects.

Webinar Date: Thursday, March 17, 1-2 p.m. ET. 

Register.


Patient Safety Awareness Week Event: Harnessing Individual Power to Effect Positive Change

webcast iconPatient Safety Awareness Week is March 13-19. We are hosting an event in partnership with the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the Indian Health Service (IHS), and the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

Amelia Brooks from Safe and Reliable Healthcare will provide strategies that health care organizations can implement immediately to improve the safety culture in their organizations. She will share:

  • How to focus on safety in the context of global health and staffing crises
  • How to reduce burdens on frontline providers
  • Implementing practical strategies to support staff

There will also be a virtual exhibit hall at the end of the session.

Webinar Date: Thursday, March 17, 2-3:30 p.m. ET. 

Register.


States Take Action to Address Children’s Mental Health in Schools

teens against locker in schoolChildren’s mental health continues to be a top priority for state leaders across both legislative and executive branches of state government. With COVID-19 exacerbating the challenges children are facing, there is much more work to be done.

This National Academy for State Health Policy (NASHP) blog post summarizes the actions many states have taken from March 2020 through December 2021 to support school mental health systems, while many more states continue to consider legislation during the 2022 session.

HRSA’s National Organizations of State and Local Officials Cooperative Agreement provided support for this blog post.


image of a calendar

March

  • National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month
  • National Poison Prevention Week (20-26)
  • National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day (10)
  • National Native American HIV/AIDS Awareness Day (20)
  • National Drug and Alcohol Facts Week (21-27)

Funding Opportunities

 

Health Workforce


Dental Faculty Loan Repayment Program – apply by March 22

Teaching Health Center Graduate Medical Education (THCGME) Program – apply by March 31

Area Health Education Centers Program – apply by April 6

State Loan Repayment Program (SLRP) – apply by April 8

Health Workforce Research Center Cooperative Agreement Program – apply by April 14

HIV/AIDS Bureau


Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program Part F Dental Reimbursement Program – apply by March 11

Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program Part D Coordinated HIV Services and Access to Research for Women, Infants, Children, and Youth (WICY) Limited Existing Geographic Service Areas – apply by March 31

Telehealth Strategies to Maximize HIV Care – apply by April 8

Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program Part B States/Territories Supplemental Grant Program – apply by May 9

Maternal and Child Health


Enhancing Systems of Care for Children with Medical Complexity (Coordinating Center) – apply by March 7

Enhancing Systems of Care for Children with Medical Complexity (Demonstration Projects) – apply by March 7

Maternal and Child Environmental Health Network (MCEHN) – apply by March 28

MCH Adolescent and Young Adult Health Research Network (AYAH-RN) – apply by March 29

Children and Youth with Special Health Care Needs Research Network – apply by April 4

Autism Single Investigator Innovation Program (Autism-SIIP) – Autism Transitions Research Project (ATRP) – apply by April 4

Autism Single Investigator Innovation Program (Autism-SIIP) – Autism Longitudinal Data Project (ALDP) – apply by April 4

American Rescue Plan Act – Pediatric Mental Health Care Access – New Area Expansion – apply by April 5

Home Visiting Collaborative Improvement and Innovation Network 3.0 (HV CoIIN 3.0) – apply by April 6

Autism CARES Act National Interdisciplinary Training Resource Center – apply by April 7

Catalyst for Infant Health Equity – apply by April 19

Infant-Toddler Court Program – National Resource Center – apply by May 4

Infant-Toddler Court Program – State Awards – apply by May 4

Early Childhood Developmental Health Systems: Evidence to Impact – apply by May 10

Federal Office of Rural Health Policy


Medicare Rural Hospital Flexibility Program- Emergency Medical Services Competing Supplement – apply by March 4

Rural Health and Economic Development Analysis – apply by March 8

Rural Communities Opioid Response Program-Behavioral Health Care Technical Assistance – apply by March 9

Rural Public Health Workforce Training Network Program – apply by March 18

Small Health Care Provider Quality Improvement Program – apply by March 21

Rural Maternity and Obstetrics Management Strategies Program – apply by April 5

Rural Communities Opioid Response Program – Behavioral Health Care Support – apply by April 19


View All Funding Opportunities

EMS Gives Life | EMT Reid Needs a Living Kidney Donor

URGENT:  Fellow first responder Reid Cappel is in kidney failure and needs a kidney transplant.  A living donor is his best chance at survival. 


For years, Reid Cappel has selflessly served his New Jersey community as an emergency medical technician. Now, it is his turn to ask for a lifeline from his fellow public health and public safety professionals. Help Reid find a living kidney donor, so that he can get back to doing what he does best: caring for others.

Anyone who is healthy and eligible to be a kidney donor can give Reid the gift of life.  A donor does not have to be a direct match, can live anywhere in the US, and will have access to donor protections and resources.  EMS Gives Life, a nonprofit organization for first responders, by first responders, will provide guidance to our EMS, fire, and police brethren who are considering living donation.

All inquiries will be held in complete confidence.  There is no commitment required to learn more.  Meet Reid and learn more about living kidney donation at  www.emsgiveslife.org/Reid.

 

FAIR Health | Ground Ambulance Services in the United States

From FAIR Health in February 2022

“Currently, no federal law protects consumers against “surprise” bills from out-of-network ground ambulance providers. Some state and local governments regulate ground ambulance surprise billing practices; however, such laws may not apply to all health plans or ambulance providers in an area. Because of the substantial policy interest in ground ambulance services, FAIR Health drew on its vast database of private healthcare claims to illuminate multiple aspects of such services across the nation, including utilization, costs, age, gender, diagnoses and differences across states.”

Download PDF Report

CoAEMSP | Now Accepting Applications for Site Visitors

The Committee on Accreditation of Educational Programs for the Emergency Medical Services Professions (CoAEMSP) is Adding to its Site Visitor Cadre!
The CoAEMSP is increasing its site visitor cadre and is seeking Paramedic educators and physicians to become site visitors for the CoAEMSP.
The training workshop will be hosted on Tuesday & Wednesday, June 28 & 29, 2022, in Dallas, Texas, for applicants who have been selected to be site visitors.
The deadline to apply is May 1, 2022.

EMS Gives Life | EMT Reid Needs a Living Kidney Donor

URGENT:  Fellow first responder Reid Cappel is in kidney failure and needs a kidney transplant.  A living donor is his best chance at survival. 


For years, Reid Cappel has selflessly served his New Jersey community as an emergency medical technician. Now, it is his turn to ask for a lifeline from his fellow public health and public safety professionals. Help Reid find a living kidney donor, so that he can get back to doing what he does best: caring for others.

Anyone who is healthy and eligible to be a kidney donor can give Reid the gift of life.  A donor does not have to be a direct match, can live anywhere in the US, and will have access to donor protections and resources.  EMS Gives Life, a nonprofit organization for first responders, by first responders, will provide guidance to our EMS, fire, and police brethren who are considering living donation.

All inquiries will be held in complete confidence.  There is no commitment required to learn more.  Meet Reid and learn more about living kidney donation at  www.emsgiveslife.org/Reid.

 

EMT Reid Needs a Kidney! Living Donor Sought

URGENT:  Fellow first responder Reid Cappel is in kidney failure and needs a kidney transplant.  A living donor is his best chance at survival. 


For years, Reid Cappel has selflessly served his New Jersey community as an emergency medical technician. Now, it is his turn to ask for a lifeline from his fellow public health and public safety professionals. Help Reid find a living kidney donor, so that he can get back to doing what he does best: caring for others.

Anyone who is healthy and eligible to be a kidney donor can give Reid the gift of life.  A donor does not have to be a direct match, can live anywhere in the US, and will have access to donor protections and resources.  EMS Gives Life, a nonprofit organization for first responders, by first responders, will provide guidance to our EMS, fire, and police brethren who are considering living donation.

All inquiries will be held in complete confidence.  There is no commitment required to learn more.  Meet Reid and learn more about living kidney donation at  www.emsgiveslife.org/Reid.

 

NHTSA Names New Office of EMS Director

From NHTSA on January 13, 2022

Long-time OEMS Staff member assumes leadership role

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) today announced that Gamunu Wijetunge, NRP, will assume the role of Director of the Office of EMS effective January, 29, 2022.

Gamunu “Gam” Wijetunge, who has worked within NHTSA’s Office of EMS for more than 20 years, is also a volunteer paramedic, fire captain and the president
of a volunteer rescue squad in Maryland. He will assume the director role — which is also responsible for the National 911 Program housed within the Office of EMS — following the retirement of Jon Krohmer, M.D., FACEP, FAEMS.

“For many years, Gam has been a leader within NHTSA’s Office of EMS, an
advocate for clinicians, and a trusted colleague for both Federal partners and Fire/EMS organizations,” said Dr. Krohmer. “His commitment to collaboration within the EMS community may be best illustrated through his stewardship of EMS Agenda 2050, which sets a clear path for the continued improvement of people-centered EMS systems for the next 30 years.”

Throughout his tenure at NHTSA, Gam has played an integral collaborative role in the development of EMS systems nationwide. These include leading efforts to:

  • Develop evidence-based guidelines and tackle EMS system improvement issues
  • Address recruiting, retention, clinician safety and other EMS workforce topics
  • Improve national EMS preparedness through coordination with other Federal agencies
  • Facilitate consensus and collaboration within leadership and working groups of the Federal Interagency Committee on EMS (FICEMS).

“I am thrilled to continue the office’s collaborative work side-by-side with our Federal partners, EMS stakeholders nationwide, and my colleagues at NHTSA,” said Gam. “I look forward to continuing Jon’s good work to support state, regional and local EMS and 911 agencies as we strive to advance our people-centered EMS and 911 systems.”

Wijetunge has a Bachelors’ Degree in Emergency Health Services from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County and a Master of Public Management from the University of Maryland, College Park. He has several professional affiliations and has been recognized repeatedly for outstanding performance and federal service, including most recently the HHS/ASPR COVID-19 Pandemic Civilian Service Medal in 2021.

Colorado | What it’s like in the day of a Denver Health paramedic

From KDVR on January 3, 2022

DENVER (KDVR) — Denver Health paramedics are often first on the scene of an emergency. And when seconds matter, they make life or death decisions.

FOX31 joined them on a ride-along to see how they do their jobs and how they are holding up during the pandemic.

If you need help, Denver Health paramedics are just minutes away.

Continue Reading on KDVR

Application Period Extended for FY 2021 Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) Program

Please see the below notice from FEMA on the extension of the Assistance to Firefighter Grant (AFG) Program:

“FEMA has been working with the General Services Administration to resolve interface issues related to SAM.gov that were affecting some applicants’ ability to begin inputting their federal fiscal year (FY) 2021 Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) Program applications into the FEMA GO System. Specifically, this issue included applicants that received error messages stating their organizations were not found and that their Unique Entity Identifier (UEI)/Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) combination did not exist despite the applicants’ SAM.gov accounts being fully active.

As this issue is ongoing, the FY 2021 AFG Program application period will remain open until January 21, 2022 5:00 p.m. ET. All applicants will automatically be granted this extension. This ensures that applicants affected by the UEI/EFT issue will have sufficient time to complete the online application. The extension to the application period will not affect the award timeline. In the meantime, FEMA continues to strongly encourage applicants to review the FY 2021 AFG Program Notice of Funding Opportunity and the associated tools posted on the FEMA website here: FY 2021 Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) Application Guidance Materials | FEMA.gov. In preparation for application submission, applicants may also draft their narratives separately and cut and paste them into the appropriate areas of FEMA GO once the SAM.gov interface issue is resolved. The questions that are asked in the narrative section may be found in the FY 2021 AFG Program Narrative Get Ready Guide.

Fire Grants Help Desk: If you have questions about the NOFO or application process, call or email the Fire Grants Help Desk. The toll-free number is 1-866-274-0960; the e-mail address for questions is firegrants@fema.dhs.gov.The Fire Grants Help Desk is open Monday – Friday, 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. ET. “

 

Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program- Non Affiliated EMS Organizations Are Eligible

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program (AFG) applications are open. The goal of the grant program is to assist fire departments and non-affiliated emergency medical service organizations in meeting their needs to serve their communities. The grant assists these organizations in obtaining equipment, protective gear, emergency vehicles, training and other resources. Non-affiliated EMS organizations including non-hospital based (private or public) nonprofit, or governmental organizations are eligible to apply. Applications close on Friday, December 17, 2021 at 5pm ET.

Eligible organizations can review the help documents linked below:

If you need assistance in completing your grant application or have any questions you can call or email the Fire Grants Help Desk at 1-866-274-0960 or firegrants@fema.dhs.gov Monday-Friday from 8am-4:30pm ET.

Federal Court Enjoins the CMS Mandatory Vaccine Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS)

On Monday, November 29, 2021, the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri – Eastern Division has issued a preliminary injunction staying the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Mandatory Vaccination Emergency Temporary Standards (ETS) which were set to take effect on January 4, 2022. This preliminary injunction currently only applies to healthcare providers in the plaintiff states.

On November 10, 2021, the States of Missouri, Nebraska, Arkansas, Kansas, Iowa, Wyoming, Alaska, South Dakota, and New Hampshire filed a nine (9) count complaint in the United States Court for the Eastern District of Missouri seeking relief from the CMS Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) which requires certain certified healthcare facilities to mandate COVID-19 vaccination of all employees, contractors, and those performing services “under arrangement.”  The complaint alleged that the ETS violates numerous provisions of the Administrative Procedures Act (APA), the Social Security Act (SSA), that CMS failed to consult with the state agencies that would be charged with enforcing such a mandate, failure to perform an impact analysis of the new rules, and several other Constitutional violations.

In the ruling, U.S. District Judge Matthew T. Schelp, agreed with the plaintiffs that a preliminary injunction was warranted because it posed an irreparable harm and that the plaintiffs demonstrated a likelihood of success on the merits of their complaint. The thirty-two (32) page ruling cites that Congress did not give CMS the authority to enact the mandatory vaccination regulations, nor authorized CMS to issue regulations that pre-empt validly enacted state legislation that contradict these new rules. The court believed that the plaintiffs would likely be able to show that CMS violated numerous administrative and rulemaking procedures.

Throughout the ruling the court cited the likelihood of significant harm to state sovereignty and how the implementation of the rule’s requirements would cause substantial economic harm to both the states and the healthcare facilities. Not only through the cost of implementation but also through the impact to a healthcare facility’s ability to provide care due to employees who refuse to get vaccinated.

This ruling is only applicable to covered healthcare facilities in the states of Missouri, Nebraska, Arkansas, Kansas, Iowa, Wyoming, Alaska, South Dakota, and New Hampshire. It is unknown if the stay will be expanded to other jurisdictions. Additionally, the OSHA Vaccination & Testing ETS is currently enjoined and OHSA has announced that they will halt implementation and enforcement associated with those rules. Despite these rulings, many EMS employers are subject to the mandatory vaccination requirements under the Safer Federal Workforce Task Force COVID-19 Workplace Safety: Guidance for Federal Contractors and Subcontractors.

I advise employers to take the initial steps toward compliance while these cases proceed through the legal system. EMS employers are already required to have policies and procedures to determine and maintain a log of their employee’s vaccination status. Additionally, many EMS employers have already been contacted by their contracted healthcare facilities who have enacted a vaccine mandate, either prior to, or in response to the CMS ETS.  These facilities may still independently require your staff to be vaccinated.

I recognize that these are incredibly challenging times. If your organization has questions or need assistance deciphering or preparing for these requirements, please contact the AAA by emailing hello@ambulance.org.

 

EMS1 | 2021 EMS Trend Report

From EMS1

The 2021 EMS Trend Report, produced in collaboration with Fitch & Associates and the National EMS Management Association, and sponsored by Pulsara, continues our effort to identify how those in EMS perceive growth, change and the challenges impacting the sustainability and future of the industry.

Last year, we said that 2020 would be a “defining year” for EMS. Even at the time, soon after the emergence of the new coronavirus in the U.S., we didn’t realize how much that might be true. It certainly was a defining year for EMS, for healthcare and for the entire global community.

A year later, the long-term impacts of the pandemic on our profession remain uncertain. What we do know is how the pandemic highlighted the adaptability of EMS. The sixth annual EMS Trend Report dives into the impact COVID-19 had, and didn’t have, the changes we’re embracing and the change providers want to see, as we explore the opinions, concerns and hopes of your colleagues across EMS at this critical moment in history.

Download your copy to read:

  • The state of the profession: The more things change, the more they stay the same
  • Roundtable: Incremental change through transformative events
  • Is poor leadership more dangerous than a pandemic?
  • Why EMS systems that scale represent the future of EMS
  • 8 Places to invest in provider safety

Download on EMS1

Notice on Ground Ambulance and Patient Billing Advisory Committee

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has filed for publication in the Federal Register the Solicitation of Nominations Notice for the Ground Ambulance and Patient Billing (GAPB) Advisory Committee. The Notice is scheduled to be included in the Federal Register for tomorrow, Tuesday, November 23.

The Congress created the GAPB Advisory Committee as part of The No Surprises Act enacted last year and currently being implemented by the Departments of Health and Human Services, Labor and the Treasury. The American Ambulance Association, International Association of Fire Chiefs, International Association of Fire Fighters, National Association of Emergency Medical Technicians, and the National Volunteer Fire Council successfully advocated that the Congress take into consideration the unique characteristics of ground ambulance services when determining balance billing policy for our services. The Congress excluded ground ambulance services from the provisions of The No Surprises Act and created the GAPB Advisory Committee to address balance billing.

The AAA has identified candidates, including AAA President Baird, who we will be supporting for inclusion on the Advisory Committee who we believe are well-positioned to represent the AAA membership. Once formed, the Advisory Committee has 180 days in which to report its recommendations to the Congress. The directive of the Committee is to review options to “improve the disclosure of charges and fees for ground ambulance services, better inform consumers of insurance options for such services, and protect consumers from balance billing.” We will be keeping the AAA membership continually informed of the actions and deliberations of the GAPB Advisory Committee.

Should you have any questions regarding the GAPB Advisory Committee, please contact AAA Senior Vice President of Government Affairs Tristan North. He can be reached at tnorth@ambulance.org.

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